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Fox Laurel & Hardy Collection Vol.2 in September

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Hodson, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    From DVD Times, Fox R1 Laurel & Hardy Collection Vol.2 in September :

    Fox Home Entertainment have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Laurel & Hardy Collection Volume 2 for 12th September 2006 priced at $34.98 SRP. This set contains 3 classic comedies…

    A-Haunting We Will Go (1942)
    Full Frame Feature
    Commentary by Randy Skretvedt
    Movietone News
    Theatrical Trailer

    The Dancing Masters (1943)
    Full Frame Feature
    Commentary by Scott MacGillivray
    A Ship's Reporter
    Grand Hotel: The 1932 Laurel & Hardy Tour
    Trailers

    Bullfighters (1945)
    Full Frame Feature
    Commentary by Scott MacGillivray
    Laurel & Hardy: The Fox Years
    Trailers
     
  2. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! Fox did a great job on the first one. I can't wait for the second!
     
  3. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    Ditto to Joe's comments. I was very impressed by Vol 1. and am glad to see Vol 2 come so quickly and at the same very affordable price.

    Interesting that Randy Skretvedt is credited with commentary on "A-Haunting". Scott McGillivray had indicated on the L&H newsgroup that he had done all 3 commentaries.

    Steve
     
  4. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    Oh, how I wish the movies were better than they are. L&H by this time were sluggish and their timing was off, the scripts were terrible and there are only a few laughs to be had. This is true of the first two films, which I've seen - can't comment about BULLFIGHTERS. Fox has apparently done stellar work for completist fans. The rest of us... let's hope for better sets from Hallmark of their earlier work.
     
  5. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Well-Known Member

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    Great news this announcement just made my day.
    Since these films have rarely been available to view in the last 30 years, they are due a re-evaluation just like the films in the 1st set were given and not just copy and pasted reviews based on old hazy memories.
     
  6. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    Thumbs up to Fox this year. For a company that hadn't previously been so active with their classic films, it's nice to see a turn-around, and in such positive quality, too.
     
  7. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Well-Known Member

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    Not to pee on anybody's cornflakes, but... "a re-evaluation"? From whom? The same L&H fanatics who have always defended the 1940s films loved the first Fox boxed set, while the rest of us were appalled. Mr. Skretvedt made a comment that 1 or 2 of them weren't as bad as he'd remembered, but that's hardly a ringing endorsement. (For the most part, they were actually worse than I'd remembered. *L*) Frankly, his commentary was far better than the films themselves, and these 3 are worse. I'm cringing at the thought of people being introduced or re-introduced to Stan 'n' Ollie through these misfires, which if they were Bowery Boys pictures would rank as the 3 worst of THAT series. They've been on cable several times over the past 20 years, so they are hardly "rare" films.
     
  8. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Well-Known Member

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    Sorry disagree with your review as well as the statement that they have been on cable several times in the past 20 years. From 1983 to 2001 I actively scanned the television guides and airwaves in search of any old comedy classics by Abbott & Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Bowery Boys, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Martin and Lewis, etc. Most of these films that were regularly shown on TV started dissapearing in the late 80's when Retail Home Video starting kicking in and many old films were determined to have value. Many went to Cable channels like AMC and TCM. In all that time I never ran accross the 6 Fox Laurel and Hardy films on TV with the exception of Jitterbugs. Most Laurel and Hardy Books acknowledge the fact that the films have rarely been seen since the 60's.
    Great Guns and The Bullfighters had a Home release in the late 80's and I finally saw them at that time. Jitterbugs showed up on AMC in the late 90's and I saw it then but has rarely been repeated. The Big Noise was released on Home Video in the Mid 90's which I saw then. The 2 MGM 1940's films "Air Raid Wardens" and "Nothing But Trouble" showed up in the early 90's on VHS as well and I saw them at that time and they have had a few showings on TCM.
    I have vague recollections of "A Haunting We Will go" from the 70's when I was a kid and I have still never seen "The Dancing Masters".
    So until these Fox DVD releases these films have indeed been rare.
    No need to Rain on the Parade of those who enjoy these films and for those who are discovering them for the 1st time. I have never seen anyone say that these are among their best films just that they are better than their vague past reviews and certainly better than alot of what passes for comedy today.
     
  9. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Well-Known Member

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    I am a big fan of vintage Laurel and Hardy and easily feel that their earlier Hal Roach films are the best.... But I STILL maintain that the new Fox DVDs were very well done, and I don't think the later Fox films are anywhere near the "disasters" they've long been said to be. I especially enjoyed THE BIG NOISE and GREAT GUNS. It's definitely time for a re-evaluation, and I think the old myth on them is, if not shattered, at least dented. Even Skredvedt mentioned that some of those films were unfairly maligned and that he's eaten some of his words of the past. Furthermore, he substantiated the fact that some of these films were never even seen properly before they were roasted.
     
  10. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Well-Known Member

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    But I think that for newbies who've never seen nor been conditioned to the early Roach classics, they would have a far easier time of being entertained by the Fox films. They haven't been pre-conditioned. It can actually turn out to be an asset for the films, and then someday if they ever get the '30s Cream of the Crop talkies, they'll REALLY be thrilled!
     
  11. JohnPM

    JohnPM Well-Known Member

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  12. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Well-Known Member

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    Well said John.
    As I said we all know the Roach films were much better than these later efforts but for fans any Laurel and Hardy all of their films are worth owning and the attraction to these is that they are rare, not seen too often if ever and Fox has done an excellent job with the sets and transfers. I don't worry about newbies because the Roach stuff has been available off and on Home Video and TV for years and years.
     
  13. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    I don't worry about newbies either. The Fox films, while below the Roach standard, still have much enjoyment and many laughs to offer. If Randy Skretvedt can admit he was wrong about these films, then we all should give them a second look. They are hardly the abominations that they've been labeled. These films will probably entice those not familiar with their work to see out the earlier films, and that's a good thing.

    Incidentally, from reading the L&H newsgroup it appears that Fox's press release missing some information. Scott MacGillivray informs us that a high quality, complete print of TREE IN A TEST TUBE (a color educational short in which L&H make an appearance) is included. There was talk of Fox including a Laurel solo silent, but it's still unsure whether it got included.

    Steve
     
  14. BarryR

    BarryR Well-Known Member

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    Where is this L&H newsgroup?
     
  15. John Stell

    John Stell Well-Known Member

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    I remember seeing A Haunting We Will Go as a youth as part of horror-comedy line-up. To my young mind, it contained the funniest exchange I'd heard:

    Person Unknown to Stanley: Pleased to me you!
    Stan Laurel: Why?

    (Well I thought it was pretty damn funny.)
     
  16. chrisBeckett

    chrisBeckett Active Member

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  17. BarryR

    BarryR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks---it's a good source.
     
  18. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    After watching Fox's Vol 2 of L&H it is clear these films have gotten a bum rap over the years. They may not be as good as the Roach shorts (which are impossible to top), but there are still many laughs in these films and L&H were able to utilize their classic characterizations more and more as the films progressed.

    Scott MacGillivray's commentaries are quite entertaining and point out facts about the films which I had missed upon initial viewing. Kudos to Fox for including Scott's high quality copy of the "Tree in a Test Tube" short. After seeing this in poor PD quality copies for so many years, it is wonderful to get an archival copy worth having. There is also a nice documentary on the L&H years at Fox.

    A-HAUNTING and BULLFIGHTERS look excellent. DANCING MASTERS looks good, but Fox messed up and used a 16mm reference copy for the DVD rather than the original 35mm print they have in their vaults. That is a shame since the 35mm print would have been much better. If they produce another run of this set, hopefully this will get fixed.

    All in all though, Fox has done L&H proud with the two bargain priced sets that were released this year. All 6 films have expert commentaries and a plethora of trailers and special features. Great job!

    Steve
     
  19. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    Fox does indeed have 35mm elements on DANCING MASTERS. One can only assume the 16mm master that they pulled was purely accidental.
     
  20. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    From accounts I have read, the 35mm print of DANCING MASTERS is in good shape.

    If I recall correctly, one reason that the films were released in the order they were is that the Vol 1 films had already been released to VHS in the USA and Fox had material all ready to transfer to DVD. For Vol 2, they had to do new transfers from the original prints since these films were not released on VHS in the USA. Maybe someone at Fox saw a video transfer done for the UK and grabbed it by mistake?

    To be clear, in my opinion, the 16mm print is not bad and should not discourage any L&H fan from buying the set. It's just disappointing considering how wonderful the other 5 films in the collections look and how delightful this film is.

    Steve
     

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